USSEC Holds Sustainability Seminar in UK

On October 14, USSEC co-hosted a seminar with the United Kingdom’s (UK) Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) at the National Motorcycle History Museum in Birmingham, England. AIC is the leading trade association of the agro-supply industry in the United Kingdom and more than forty of their members attended the event. The agenda focused on sustainability and efforts on both sides of the Atlantic to address the growing demand for sustainable soy.
Alex Doring, Secretary General of the European Feed Manufacturing Federation (FEFAC), described the recent history and activities of his organization to develop a common Europe-wide approach on sourcing sustainable soy. He informed the group that the International Trade Commission (ITC) in Geneva will benchmark individual soy sustainability programs against the FEFAC guidelines and make a determination on their compatibility.
United Soybean Board (USB) director Belinda Burrier described the conservation and sustainability practices on her 1,400 acre farm in Union Bridge, Maryland, conveying the commitment of U.S. Soy producers to sustainable soy production. Ms. Burrier said that her farm has been practicing no-till cultivation since the 1970s, which has decreased soil erosion and nutrient run-off, a critical issue as her farm is in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, one of the most closely monitor and tested regions in the United States.
USSEC Regional Manager – EU/MENA Brent Babb outlined the U.S. Sustainable Soy Assurance Protocol (SSAP). Mr. Babb informed the group that USSEC had recently submitted the SSAP to the ITC benchmarking against the FEFAC standards. An assessment is expected in the next few weeks.
Finally, Stan Phillips, USDA’s Agricultural Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in London, made a presentation on the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, focusing on why the trade negotiations are important to both the United States and the European Union.
The seminar furthered the goals and objectives of both USSEC and AIC. Sustainability is an increasingly important issue among retailers in Northern Europe and AIC wants to convey that importance to all of its members. In highlighting the SSAP and the long history of conservation in the United States, USSEC generates greater awareness and increases the preference for U.S. Soy on the UK market.
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